Virgil van Dijk continues to be linked with a Southampton exit
Virgil van Dijk continues to be linked with a Southampton exit

Even injury cannot keep Southampton stalwart Virgil van Dijk out of the limelight, as he continues to be linked with a move away from the club.

Chelsea and other big clubs have been linked with the Dutch international this week.

Ake swap?

Antonio Conte's Chelsea side are in pole position to sign van Dijk this summer, by which time they will most likely be Premier League champions.

The latest rumours this week state Nathan Ake could be used as a pawn in the deal, as the Saints are likely to demand a big figure.

With John Terry's future in the air and Gary Cahill coming to the end of his career, a move for van Dijk would be a good move for the Blues.

Ake was recalled from his loan spell with Bournemouth earlier this year but has found game time hard to come by at the London outfit.

Sakho brought in

The idea of van Dijk being replaced with Liverpool's Mamadou Sakho is also being talked up, as the centre half continues to play a big part in Crystal Palace's relegation battle.

The Frenchman was linked with a move to the South Coast in January but ended up moving to Selhurst Park on Deadline Day.

It is likely he has played his last game under Jurgen Klopp, meaning Liverpool may want to offer Sakho in return for van Dijk.

If the 25-year-old did make the move to Anfield, he would be following in the footsteps of Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren and Rickie Lambert.

Other options?

It's more than likely that other Premier League outfits attempt to sign van Dijk, who has proven himself to be one of the best defenders in the league this term.

Manchester City have been linked with the player in the past, and the former Celtic man could be a perfect replacement for Vincent Kompany, who is struggling to stay fit these days.

Jose Mourinho has expressed his affection for the player in the past and may need a new central defender in the summer.

The Dutchman is currently out of action at present, as he recovers from an ankle injury.

He missed last month's EFL Cup final against Mourinho's men and some sections of the Saints support are wondering if van Dijk has played his last game for the club.